Posted by Crislynne Warden
A NAVY VET'S BREWED AWAKENING IN JACKSON HOLE
Early Brews and Service Roots
The aroma of my grandparent's coffee was the heart of my childhood mornings, where family and warmth were synonymous with the gentle pour of brew into cream. It was in these moments that I learned the power of coffee as a connector, a tradition that stayed with me beyond the comfort of the family kitchen.
The aspirations of youth aimed towards the basketball courts, but destiny enlisted me in the Navy, teaching me the value of camaraderie and discipline. These lessons in resilience and the bonds formed over shared experiences were reflections of those early coffee-infused gatherings, though the backdrop had dramatically changed.
Transition to the Tetons
Discharge from the Navy led me to the embrace of Jackson Hole, inspired by my partner's vision and drawn by the allure of mountain life. At St. John's Health, the skills honed in the military translated into meticulous care in the operating room. When reduced hours at the hospital nudged my career down an unexpected path, I found my way to Snake River Roasting Company. There, a temporary position bloomed into a passionate pursuit, as I became entwined with the art of coffee roasting.
Within the roastery, I learned the intricate dance of our high-altitude roasting, where the local water's mineral content and the precise calibration of our equipment became part of my new vocabulary. The craft of roasting beans soon became as familiar as surgical tools once had been.
Operating Rooms to Roasting
Leaving healthcare for Snake River Roasting Co. wasn't a decision I took lightly; it was the sense of family and community here that ultimately drew me in. The shared commitment and enthusiasm for exceptional coffee is palpable, but it's the familial bonds among the team that truly define our work environment. Here, I found a second family that supports and encourages one another, embodying the very essence of connection that initially sparked my love for coffee.
Each day at Snake River is a testament to the power of community. As I contribute to our collective expertise in roasting and brewing, I'm reminded of why I embarked on this journey. It's not just about crafting the perfect cup of coffee; it's about fostering the relationships and experiences that turn a simple beverage into a pivotal part of life's adventures. Here, I'm not just part of a team — I'm part of a home, each of us fueling life's adventures, not just for our customers, but for each other as well.
Morning Ritual. My day begins with the familiar and comforting process of brewing coffee. Whether it’s a pot of our Brazil blend or a more intricate pour-over using my Kalita Wave, the act of making coffee is as much a part of my morning as the sunrise. On weekends, I take my time to savor a cup or two at home, often accompanied by the quiet of the early hours.
The Workday Pour. If I’m heading into work, I prepare a robust quad shot cortado, with a twist – I use Reeds Dairy chocolate milk for that extra indulgence. This isn't just a morning pick-me-up; it’s a cherished ritual that marks the start of my workday.
Afternoon Delight. In the afternoons, especially when the Wyoming air turns brisk, I reach for a cup of Lunch Counter. It was the first blend I ever brought to the market, and it still warms me with every cup, a nod to the journeys taken and the ones still unfolding with every batch we roast.